Can’t believe it’s been five weeks since I last blogged. Wow. There were times over that stretch I really missed writing, moments when I actually craved an hour to blog. Work, travel, responsibilities at home, Penny, tennis, softball, basketball, lack of sleep, and vacation crowded out the blog; but over the rest of the summer, I’m determined to set aside time to write! I’m harboring plenty of ideas, including one that’s simmered on the back burner of my brain for more than a month.
On this weekend, though, as I re-enter the world of blogging, our nation grieves another terrible tragedy. An unspeakable, senseless act targeting random movie-goers who couldn’t wait to attend a premiere they anticipated for months. As I write, not all the victims have been identified. But the ones we know include a young man celebrating his birthday; a pair of 20-somethings who shielded their girlfriends from the spray of bullets and saved their lives; a 27-year-old Navy sailor; a 24-year-old aspiring media mogul; and a 23-year-old “trying to find her way in life.” Then there’s the youngest victim: a little 6-year-old girl. How is that posssible? How can the life of a first-grader be cut short in a movie theatre on a Thursday night in July by some monster who calls himself the Joker?? It’s not fair, and it absolutely breaks my heart. I know the rest of the nation feels the same.
So how do we respond? How do we find light in a world where it seems like the darkness wins way too often? In response to horrific tragedies, people often say things like “Live life to the fullest” and “Appreciate every moment since you have no idea what happens tomorrow.” Those suggestions are helpful, and ones that should be remembered. Dealing with the loss of a dozen lives in a Colorado movie theatre forces me to take a step back. I get so caught up in my personal routine and daily minutiae that I miss opportunities to be thankful. This weekend is a chance to count the blessings in my life, from the tiniest to the largest.
Where to begin? I can start by being thankful for a Saturday off. It was a day to catch up on sleep and slow down after two straight weeks of work. I’m thankful for a rare day when I feel like I accomplished everything I set out to accomplish. I’m finding solace in simple things: an evening run with the sun sinking low in the sky, burgers and veggies from the grill, flowers on the deck, and a cool night to open the windows.
Too often, I focus on the negative and what’s wrong with my life instead of staying humble and thankful for what I have. A healthy body and mind, a house that serves as a safe haven, the money to pay my mortgage, a car that may never stop running, 2 cats who make me laugh, a dog who never gets tired of me, several challenging jobs that give me a creative outlet, career goals about which I am passionate, a church where I can learn and teach, friends who refuse to leave me alone, two nieces that I cherish, two brothers who love me exactly the way I am, a mother who stays involved in every detail of my life and remains my biggest fan, and a God who sent his only Son to die on the cross for my sins. I can also be thankful for answered prayers down the road, hopes and dreams realized in the future.
Too often, I take for granted all the blessings in my life. But on this weekend, I’m reminded that thank you is a password — to a new perspective and new direction and fresh start. I’m thankful for the chance to wake up tomorrow and do better. That’s the best place to begin.